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Saudi Arabia’s Al Jasser welcomes foreign banks

Saudi Arabia’s central bank governor, Mohammed Al Jasser, wants long-term global banks in the Kingdom. Meanwhile he is taking a leading role in developing the GCC’s single currency, as he tells Dominic O’Neill.

Al Jasser insists global banks treated equally

Saudi Arabia’s central bank governor, Mohammed Al Jasser

"I explained to him [Mervyn Davies] very clearly that there is absolutely no basis for the claims there was unequal treatment [for foreign banks]"

Mohammed Al Jasser

MOHAMMED AL JASSER is hardly in a position to be pushed around by foreign bankers, let alone former bankers from abroad. In December last year UK trade minister Mervyn Davies met Al Jasser, the governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (Sama). Davies had been asked to stress the frustration felt at Saudi reluctance to involve foreign banks in procedures to resolve the debt crises at the Saad and Al Gosaibi family group conglomerates, which defaulted last year, or even to discuss the matters officially. (see Saudi Arabia: Banks seek political help, Euromoney, January 2010)

Al Jasser says Davies, an ex-Standard Chartered banker, referred to a letter sent to Davies by the British Bankers’ Association that had found its way to the media. The governor says Davies apologized for the way the British media had reported on the letter, and for reports on how the defaults were managed in Saudi Arabia.

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